"Everyone from St. Peter has a tornado story if they were around at the time," explains St. Peter City Administrator Todd Prafke, remembering a natural disaster that happened 15 years ago this week.
Prafke has served on the boards of both the League of Minnesota Cities and the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT).
On March 29, 1998 a tornado swept through the city of 11,000 residents and roughly 3,000 homes. Tornadoes that were part of the same supercell storm also hit the cities of Comfrey and Le Center.
When the storm cleared in St. Peter, one person had died. Approximately 200 homes were completely destroyed, 400 had damage that made them unsafe to live in, and 1,200 more had storm damage and were in need of repair. Seven counties in Minnesota were declared Federal Disaster Areas.
There were 76 parcels of city property damaged, including the library (destroyed) and City Hall's roof (missing).
Prafke, who had been appointed St. Peter's city administrator only four months prior, made the call to LMCIT for help, and what he received, he says, was a much needed source of support and resources.
Watch these highlights of an interview with Prafke to find out what an impact LMCIT played in St. Peter's recovery, and how Prafke thinks the city has recovered since then. (Spoiler Alert: St. Peter is stronger and more dynamic than ever.)